Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Get the ink in 2014!

It is April of 2014 and I have just arrived from the office fighting sweltering heat waves. I am frazzled to the core. It is a Saturday evening that is why I am not that bothered about the fatigue as I have whole Sunday before me to rest and relax. I take my regular evening bath and in supine position lay on my bed with my cellphone in my hands. I am surfing net and am online on my ‘we chat’ app as well.

Suddenly a message pops up with a message “Hi!”

It is a very old friend of mine, Ramesh. We were best friends in college, we still are. After college, I went after job search; he joined his father’s business.

Me: “Hi!”

Him: “What’s up?

Me: “Nothing…what about you?”

Him: “Chilling yaar…Saturday night.”

Me: “Ok… and what about your Ankita? How are you both going?”

Him: “Ankita is past buddy… now I am lost in the silky strands of Megha .”

Me: “O.K… so how is atmosphere in your city.”

Him: “Lively as ever.”

Me: “No… I am asking about political atmosphere… in a week time there is going to be voting in your state…right?”

Him: “What voting?... we care only about minting money buddy… we are businessmen, mind you!”

Me: “But even businessmen need the political system to be working and that is why we need to vote.”

Him: “Political system is at the beck and call of our moolah muscle dear and we don’t need political system, the political system needs us... I have never cast my vote… I am not a commoner who needs to vote.Furthermore… I don’t have to whimper before the custodians of democracy for roti, kapda and makan

Me: “But I think that everyone should make their contribution felt in a democracy even if they are super rich.”

Him: “Rich people don’t need democracy… on the contrary democracy needs us and our money.”

Me: “Ok… just imagine a situation?”

Him: “Leave it yaar…let’s talk about something else.”

Me: “No I insist… I would like you to imagine a situation… I know you are good at imagining!”

Him: “Umm…ok… I know you are stubborn… you won’t relent until I imagine… tell me what is the situation?”

Me: “Imagine that one morning you wake up and don’t have water in your plushy bathroom for your ablutions then what would you do?”

Him: “What yuck! … I thought you would tell me to imagine about a girl.”

Me: “For a change, imagine about this situation.”

Him: “Ok… if I find one morning that there is no water in my bathroom then I will enquire water supply department about the problem.”

Me: “And if you come to know that they are on an indefinite strike then?”

Him: “Then I will call water tanker supplier … remember I can buy anything.”

Me: “But what if this water supplier charges huge amount?”

Him: “No amount is huge for me.”

Me: “But Imagine if it charges exorbitant amount like 2 crore per day for one tanker…”

Him: “But why would it charge that much? Gundaraj hai kya( Is it rule of hooligans)?

Me: “Yes... there you are, if people of this country, at any time, choose to shun voting, it means that at the end of the day the Raaj of people(Rule of People) will be supplanted by Gundaraaj (Rule of Hooligans) and it doesn’t matter however rich you are, your all money could get spent in a matter of a day if there is no govt. to look after the situations related to economy and law and order of the country. In the absence of a democratically elected govt. there will be anarchy all around. Arson, felony will become daily events and…”

Him: “OK, Ok… don’t scare me more, I have got your point, now I think that I was a great fool not to have voted earlier. Thanks for your timely goading. This time I am surely going to vote.”

Me: “Don’t forget to take your madam Megha to vote with you.”

Him: “Sure I will take her with me and I will urge other family members of mine to do so as well.”

Then we talked on several other things till some more time and after that I had my dinner and went to sleep satisfied that Ramesh would get the ink on his index finger in 2014.

You also don’t forget to get the ink on your finger in 2014.


P.S: This creative endeavour is an entry to a contest being held at Indiblogger.in under title: Indian General Elections 2014 with social mobile apps.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dovelove and my darling friend!

As the plane soared and started shearing the thick air, cotton like clouds appeared to wave us.  Seeing the innocent and immaculate clouds, a smile floated across my lips.

“What Happened Sudha?” asked my husband.

“Nothing.” I played down.

Actually, these clouds reminded me of my friend Tulika. We were together at our MBA college …some 10 years ago. We were room partners. She was my chum.

She had the habit of picking out faces in the clouds. She used to describe in such a creative way that I was able to see facial features of somebody in the clouds. Sometimes cartoon characters, sometimes hostel wardens and sometimes professors: she could pick out any face from the stark white clouds.

I was the worst introvert kind in the college but she was a complete brat. A tomboy. She used to play cricket in the team of boys. It was her brilliant batting skills that forced the boys’ team of the college to include her in the team. I still remember distinctly when she had scored a swashbuckling 50 runs in the final of an inter-college cricket tournament. The team of our college had won that final match and she was adjudicated (wo) man-of—the-match. Next day all local newspapers  were singing hosanna of Tulika.

She was a master mimicry artist as well. She used to mimic the voice of even male professors.

Once there was a bet of Rs. 5000 in the girls hostel that entailed going to the boys’ hostel and draging on marijuana from gang of boys who dragged regularly. I thought that no one would agree to such an outlandish bet. But I was wrong it was our own daredevil Ms. Tulika who agreed to do the act. She got her hair trimmed -- she had thick hair strands. She just wore a baseball cap on her head and impersonated herself as an electrician and in a bag she filled all electrical instruments. No one could recognize her. Through her mimicry skills, she mingled with the gang and dragged on the marijuana.  She came straight after dragging to give smell of her mouth to us. It was reeking badly. She had vomited several times that night but didn’t have any qualms as she had won Rs.5000 of the bet.

She might have been masculine in many of her acts, but one thing that made her true feminine was her care for her skin. And for that she depended only upon Dove Soaps. I was not loyal to any soap brands in those days and used to buy any of the brands available in the market, but she was very particular about her choice of soap.

One day in the evening we had gone for our regular shopping, when the shopkeeper informed us that he didn’t have any pieces of Dove soaps left. He tried to push- sell us some other brand of soap but Tulika didn’t budge from her brand loyalty. We went to the main market of the city on her scooty and rummaged out Dove soaps. We had some snacks in a roadside dhaba there. It was winter season and it had got really dark at 7 in the evening.  We wanted to reach to our hostel as soon as possible.

When we were just a kilometer away from our hostel, we heard a whimpering sound.

“Seems somebody is crying,” said Tulika.

“Yes,” as soon as I said it, she stopped the scooty and went in the direction of the voice. My affirmation for the crying voice was not a signal for her to stop the scooty on a desolate road. But she didn’t care; she always did things that she considered right. I also followed her in the bushes by the side of the road.

Within a distance of a meter, we saw that five six teenagers were slapping a boy of their age. One of the gang had a dagger in his hand as well. And the boy being slapped was whimpering, crying and repeating the word ‘sorry’. From their conversation we could draw that the matter involved some money.

“We shouldn’t be here,” I whispered.

“They will kill this boy,” she said without giving any heed to my words of caution.

As soon as the boy with dagger stepped forward to stab the whimpering boy, Tulika put her finger on her nose and produced the sound of the wail of a police van. She was damn good at mimicry.

This made the gang very scared. They left the place at once, and left the whimpering boy alone.

We also ran towards our scooty. Tulika drove the scooty with a maximum speed that a scooty could be driven. In a matter of minutes we were in our hostel. At that day, I had known that behind the naughty and tomboyish veneer, there was a very brave person lurking in my friend who could put her in any danger to save someone.

Ah! These clouds refreshed memories of my dear friend. I wish we were also like clouds then we would have flown to anywhere and would have met anyone. For last 8 years, I am not in touch with my friend. Such is life, once you are very close and once you don’t see face of your friend for years.

“I had told you to sit still, hadn’t I?... You spilt everything” a voice from some rows before our seats broke my thoughts of good old days.

A lady in a bright saree  got up from her seat and strolled towards bathroom.

“Is she Tulika?” I whispered in my mind.

That lady also looked towards me with a wet cloth in her hand.

She smiled looking at me, yes she is Tulika. I jumped from my seat in the mid- air and hugged her. With mist in the eyes and frog in our throat, we introduced our families to each other.

When the plane touched down, we talked about very many things and at last I asked her: “what happened to your love for Dove?”

“We love once!” with an impish wink of her eye.

Since that day we have never lost touch and hope to remain in touch till our last breath.

P.S: This creative account is an entry to a contest being held at www.indiblogger.in and sponsored by DOVE . 

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

A day with….or without my tablet!

My eyeballs were glued to the screen of my tablet as the metro train of Delhi was chugging along. It was month of May and AC coaches of the metro train was giving a big relief from sweltering heat.  Many stations were coming and as the train stopped at each station; many people thronged the coaches of the train. Gradually the coach I was travelling in was stuffed with people.

I was always averse to the idea of Delhi metro being free to all. I mean there were no classes. Anyone could enter any coach. Blue collared labourers, rustic tourists, gypsies and highbrow of society packed in same coach that classified none. I thought it was good example for unity of India picture but bundling people from every class in the same coach was not my cup of tea ever. I was buried in my tablet poring over the happenings around the world when the announcement about the Rajiv Chowk station blared.

I got up from my seat and came close to the gate in order to get down at the Rajiv Chowk station. Gradually the train halted at the station and the doors slid open.  My bag slinging on my shoulder and my tablet clutched in my hand, I got down from the train and mixed myself in the sea of humans that were floating at the station.

Amid shoving and pushing of the multitude suddenly my mind went numb. I was feeling only air in curved fingers of my hand. My eyes travelled with the lightening speed towards my hand only to find nothing in my hand. I could feel the heat of thousand degrees emitting through my ears. My eyes had become cradle for teardrops. “Somebody has stolen my tablet,” I yelled.

My veneer of sophistication flew away in the wake of this sudden calamity and I started cussing in soliloquy but wanted very much all others around me to listen the B& M words of swear dictionary. I hoped that my cussing would have a heart- change for the thief and he/she would return my tablet.

But after few words of commiseration, people went to their work to stamp the fact that the show must go on even if someone is crying or bleeding. I was also cursing myself for not opting for the Lenovo Yoga tablet which you can grip well and chances are very minimal of slipping it out of your hand in the moments when you mingle with a crowd.

In this entire emotional hullabaloo my eyes caught my suspect for my Tablet theft. My Sherlock Holmes mind started working. It was a she. She seemed to be in her mid-40s. Clad in a saree she was stepping down quickly to the stairs of the station. I followed her with my brisk steps and came out of the station. But within a wink of an eye she was out of my sight. “She must have legs of a P.T. Usha.” I wondered. I was feeling failed miserably when the miracle happened, she appeared in a hand pulled rickshaw. I also hailed one and started following her. I was determined to get my tab back at all cost. I had bought it just recently. After a while she left the rickshaw and I followed suit. She moved in a serpentine ally of a Delhi slum. Clandestinely, I kept following her until she entered a dilapidated hut.  I thought of barging into the hut but stopped myself from being foolhardy as there might be other hooligans inside. So, I decided to hide myself behind the wall of the hut so that I could keep an eye on her activities through a window sill that had a hole. After switching my phone off, I started peeping through the hole. There was a bearded man inside the room.

“Did you bring it?” He asked.

“He must be asking about my tab,” I thought.

She brought a thing that seemed exactly in the breadth and length of my tab wrapped in a paper out of her leather bag.

“Here is my Tab. Now I will call the police.” I was exhilarated on the success of my espionage efforts.

But what is this? He un-wrapped the paper and there was a foil shining, and shit it was a chocolate… not my Tab.

“Have it, this is what you were crying for, now devour it and keep calm, otherwise I will beat you badly,” the man said moving towards a corner where a kid of around 8 years was tied. He was sobbing. The man untied the rope of his hands but left the rope of his legs tied. He removed the sellotape from his mouth.

“Oh my god! This seems a kidnapping.” I talked to myself.

Leaving the kid alone with his chocolate they both came out of the room and stopped in the corner of the hut where no one could see them.

“Did you notice in his house any attempt to call the police?” asked the man in a whispering voice.

“No… it is only that my land lady is crying badly day and night for her son, they are arranging for the ransom money… isn’t it possible to release the kid… her mother is really in a bad state... and his father’s business has also hit a bad patch, he is finding it tough to arrange the 25 lakhs.”

“Don’t be an emotional fool, these business people never hit a bad patch, and they can always earn double the amount that they lose. So don’t worry about them, be happy, tonight we will be a lakhpati and I promise you that I will leave all bad things for ever and settle down with you. We will have a nice home, and get rid of this structure of tin, where we will raise our kids and they will become big people in society. Don’t you want a better life? Do you want to die a rotten old woman here in these slums?” the man gave her an emotional dosage as an antidote to dissuade her from thinking more emotionally about the plight of parents of the kid.

“No.”

“Then do as I say.”

“Ok.” said the lady willynilly.

By now I had forgotten totally about my tab thing and my mind was only working on saving this kid from the hands of these people. But I was not a Kung Fu master to tackle the miscreants. The bearded man must have had a knife at least. If I confronted him directly, I could be sliced with his Rampuri.  So, I decided to call the police.

I brought my cell phone out of my pocket, switched that on by cupping it my hands completely to stop the sound from traveling to the ear of the kidnappers and informed the police.

After a few seconds my phone rang with a loud ringtone, which I generally enjoy, as I had forgotten to switch it off again.

“Who is there?” the bearded man asked and flew open the tin door beside the window, that I was really unaware of all the while that I was there. He grabbed me by scruff of my neck and dragged me inside the hut.

Despite my all resistance I was thrown inside of the house by the brutal force of the bearded man.
“Who are you?” he kept asking me repeatedly and without caring for my answer kept raining on me his fists and boots. My resistance was feeble and I was bleating.

I thought that these were my last moments on the earth as he was really poking my stomach and ribs with all savagery that he had in his body.

“Give me your phone…where have you called?… oh my god he has called the police, we need to run away now, but before running away I will finish this bastard, he has ruined my dream.”

 And he brought out a shining dagger that he had tucked into the roof of the hut.

As soon as he was to attack me with his dagger, the police barged into the room by breaking open the hut door. His attention distracted and I leaped towards the kid, clutched him in my arms and tried to run towards the side of police. But midway he again hampered my way by catching my hand and made a cut in my arm, the police then fired at him in his hands to overpower him. I put the kid down who was later cared for by other policeman and I put my other hand on the part of my arm that was spurting out blood profusely. I moved towards the ambulance that had come along with the police van. They quickly bandaged my hand, gave me some injections immediately to reduce my pain and lessen the risk of any infection. Later the kid was also examined by the paramedics.

The police bundled the culprits into their van and the kid and me were taken to a hospital.

I met the parents of the kid in the hospital; I felt a kind of bliss by seeing the relieved faces of the parents. They wanted to meet me but I left the hospital as soon as I was given a green signal from the docs, thankfully no ribs of mine had cracked. I knew they would thank me and be thankful to me. But I thought that only GOD deserved their thanks as it was only he/she who made me instrumental in saving the kid.

After three months, my hand had healed completely and by now I had completely forgotten the loss of my tablet. I was busy with my job and my family. On one evening when I returned fatigued by my job and crowd of metro train of Delhi, I noticed that door of my house was open and there was no light in my house. I entered my house really frightened about the plight of my family. I called out: Asha where are you? Papa Mummy where are you? Then, suddenly the lights of my house came to existence again with a blinding effect.
“Welcome Home!” a loud cheer welcomed me.

I could see some known and unknown faces. My family and my sisters’ family were also among some known faces and yes there was that kid also who had to go through a nasty experience of kidnapping some months ago. And I didn’t have any Idea about the unknown faces. Then, I was told that the unknown faces were from Lenovo India and they had chosen me for a bravery award. They handed out me a certificate and a check amount of 1 lakh rupees and a Lenovo Yoga Tablet!

I was happy, because I could see a sense of pride etched on the face of my family members.  I thanked God for giving me such an honour in my life.

That night I gave a small party to Lenovo India people, the family of the Kid and to my family. I enjoyed that evening very well. And now the family of the kid is my family.


P.S: This creative account is my entry for a contest being held at Indiblogger.in under title: Lenovo Yoga Better Way